Over twenty years working across the developing world generating new ways to finance conservation and improve rural livelihoods – from carbon offset projects to butterfly farming to non-timber forest products. Jacob believes passionately in the power of information and in the potential of markets to do good, help farmers and businesses do well, and to make conserving imperiled biodiversity a win-win. The wealth of untapped and unknown potential in the forests, farms and communities of the tropics provides the joy of continual discovery – and the fact that so much is being lost so fast, the spur to make connections and create opportunities.
A globally recognized social entrepreneur from Colombia, Marta has worked with agribusiness and smallholder farmers, governments and grassroots organizations building connections and partnerships in areas often marked by conflict – water use, environmental safeguards and sustainable agriculture. She is committed in identifying leaders and promoting partnerships to reach environmental and social sustainability, a global challenge where women can make substantial contributions. Marta has received awards from the Ashoka Foundation, Avina Foundation and Mulago Foundation, and has served on the boards or advisory committees of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano, Fundación Natura Ecuador, the Katoomba Group and Ecosystem Marketplace.
Agustin is in charge of business development at Canopy Bridge. He has worked in the agribusiness sector in Argentina for over five years and has travelled the world both trading specialty crops and surfing remote pointbreaks. After completing his Master´s degree in New Zealand, he returned to South America searching for new opportunities in sustainable agriculture value chain financing and development. Now he builds relationships and partnerships with relevant actors in the region, making ends meet for buyers and producers. His interest in fair trade, inclusive business models and producer organizations blends in seamlessly with what Canopy Bridge strives to achieve. Agustin holds a B.Sc. in Economics from Universidad de Buenos Aires-Argentina, and a MA in Agribusiness & International Rural Development from Lincoln University-New Zealand.
Gaby is an environmental economist from Quito, Ecuador. Her passion for languages and nature took her to Manaus, Brazil, where she worked for a non-profit organization, helping improve productive value chains in the Amazon and performing research on climate finance. Upon her return to Ecuador, she got a Master´s Degree in Socioenvironmental Studies and worked for the Ministry of Environment. At Canopy Bridge, Gaby does research on non-timber forest products and helps out with communications and community management.
Iván helps with communications for Canopy Bridge. He writes blog posts, assists in research and in generating content for social media. He is settling in Quito after years of two very different types of island life: as an educator in the Galapagos Islands for three years and as community producer and facilitator in Manhattan, New York. He writes, doodles and walks everywhere, collaborates with local and international media outlets and studies for a Master’s degree in Visual Anthropology. Ivan is 100 % sure of only two things in life: that grapefruit juice is much, much tastier than orange juice and that stories —written or otherwise—hold the key to changing how we treat each other and the world around us.